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High Life A WEEKLY FORUM FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS : Clothes, Cars, Companions Define Status on Campus

Every generation has its own status symbols--from fashions and friends to toys and transportation--and these, we’ve found, don’t vary widely from one high school campus to another.

Hot Topics asks: “What is the ‘ultimate’ status symbol among students at your high school?”

“Whether you have a boyfriend or not and who he is.”

Kin Matsler, 15,

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sophomore, Los Alamitos

“Hanging with the right crowd, which is being on the football or the basketball team.”

Antonio Reyes, 17,

senior, Sonora

“Blond hair.”

Laura Hanson, 14,

freshman, Kennedy

“Cars. Guys who love their cars find it necessary to screech away in front of the entire school so everyone will look. Everyone notices a car.”

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Katie Mazzacano, 17,

senior, Esperanza

“It’s different in everyone’s eyes. For some it’s a car or going out to lunch, for others it’s just being happy.”

Ginny Case, 17,

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senior, Valencia

“Having a girlfriend with the least amount of brains and the largest bra size.”

Kurt O’Donnell, 17,

senior, Ocean View

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“A physics pencil. If you are extremely witty or quick to understand a concept in physics, you receive a prestigious award of a pencil.”

Jane Oglesby, 16,

senior, Connelly

“Anything money can buy, like cars and clothes.”

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Alison Xanghakis, 14,

and Jessica Haugh, 14,

freshmen, Woodbridge

“In our group we all wear gold pocket watches.”

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Dan Lossner, 17,

senior, Kennedy

“Being on the ASB Cabinet, getting a letterman’s jacket and having a car.”

Jim Perez, 17,

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junior, Orange

“Clothes. You’re not really recognized for wearing nice clothes, but you stand out if you wear bad ones.”

David Alleman, 18,

senior, Esperanza

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“Who wears the best glasses.”

Sergio Gonzalez, 17,

senior, Sonora

“Rolling up skirts to make them as short as possible.”

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Jennifer Atler, 14,

freshman, Connelly

“Having an eternal smile, admirable intelligence, dazzling beauty, easy wit, athletic grace, a car, unlimited generosity, spontaneous style, natural patience, and on top of all the trivial things, an inner love for anything and everyone.”

Paul McGinnis, 17,

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junior, Ocean View

“The kind of car you drive. The best kind to have is a Mercedes-Benz or BMW.”

Kathy Terwiske, 15,

sophomore, Woodbridge

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“A senior with a car and not caring about grades.”

Joan-Jung Chang, 18,

senior, Valencia

“Homecoming queen, because everybody knows who she is and she’s well liked . . . and top athletes.”

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Heather Nicolson, 15,

sophomore, Orange

“Who you know and hang around with.”

Laura Bandy, 15,

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sophomore, Los Alamitos

“Flight jackets. That’s what all my friends wear.”

Brandie Sparks, 15,

freshman, Kennedy

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“Having a boyfriend or girlfriend, because everyone seems to judge you by who you are with.”

Amee Noble, 16,

sophomore, Esperanza

“Materialistic things like cars and clothes.”

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Michelle Steinhardt, 18,

senior, Woodbridge

“Personality.”

Richard Saunchez, 18,

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senior, Sonora

“Having the right brand of shoes with the right number of shoelaces and belonging to the right gym.”

Jenny Allen, 17,

senior, Ocean View

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“The way you look and act to impress people.”

Katie Durham, 15,

sophomore, Woodbridge

“People who always get involved in school because they’re popular and well-known.”

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Sara Viveros, 18,

senior, Orange

“Shoes. You can tell what group people are in by what kind they wear.”

Rich Hills, 17,

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senior, Esperanza

“Having it all together--brains, beauty, popularity, personality, possessions, athleticism, leadership . . . and happiness.”

Nita Halim, 15,

sophomore, Ocean View

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“Having a car and senior lunch privileges.”

Huey Dang, 16,

junior, Valencia

“The way people dress. If you dress really nicely, everyone thinks you really know a lot about fashion.”

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Christine Wee, 16,

sophomore, Connelly

“Definitely the way you project yourself and who you hang around with.”

Amy Gonta, 15,

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sophomore, Los Alamitos

“Cars. People think that the better car they have, the better person they are.”

Saar Swartzon, 17,

senior, Esperanza

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“I do not believe in status symbols, because it’s who you are and not what you have.”

Mike Bloch, 17,

senior, Woodbridge

Next Week’s Hot Topic:

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In your opinion, why do teen-agers become gang members?

Responses gathered by Janet Bester (Connelly), Eric Billigmeier (Esperanza), Jean Paik (Kennedy), Trisha Ginsburg (Los Alamitos), Felice Wu (Ocean View), Betsy Burbridge (Orange), Lani Kent (Sonora), Michael Chen (Valencia) and Katy Leeper (Woodbridge).


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